Active Learning Resources

Below are some useful digital tools that I have been using with our Foundation Year students this term. If you know of any other apps that might prove useful, please do let me know and I will add to the list.



  1. Video: You can make a video of your group answering some questions, it could be a video of a member of faculty giving a two minute summary of their research (prior permission must be sought), it could be a video of some pictures of keywords with your group explaining the significance, etc. You can use You tube or Moovly ( which allows you to use library images as well as your own images to create content. There is an interesting app called Vialogues ( which allows you to select from their bank of videos, a YouTube video or your own video and create a public or private dialogue around it. You could make a video with questions attached using Vizia: or use an existing video and adapt it as an interactive learning tool using edpuzzle:
  2. Animation: Videoscribe anywhere is a free app that enables you to produce little animations to illustrate key points or to summarise the main points of the paper. It could also be used to illustrate the word of the week/terminology/theory of the week. You can subscribe for a free trial on the web too but the app is free forever more ( There is also the Powtoon app ( that allows you to make animations from a template. These can be exported to Youtube or as a powerpoint file.
  3. Podcast: Answer some guidance questions and record your answers, post an opinion, discuss as a group, one of the more controversial aspects of the topic and record your discussion, explain a key concept. Audioboom is an app that is free to download and will allow you to record and upload your podcast with ease.
  4. Screencasting – use chrome to make a screencast ( You can download the basic software for free and it allows you to record what is happening on your screen with an audio explanation. You can also use an app called Jing ( This will allow you to capture videos up to five minutes long. Why not make a tutorial for others to learn about the seminar content?
  5. Make a poll – particularly useful if you want to gauge opinions on a relevant issue. You could try Poll Everywhere ( or Google Forms. Both are free. You could then make your post the following week, the results of the poll. You could also use Plickers ( which is a quizzing or polling tool that will allow you to ask multiple choice questions to groups of up to 63 at a time. Try using Answer Garden to get feedback on an issue or question you have:
  6. Quizzes – try online quiz creator to make a short multiple choice quiz. Fantastic for exam revision as long as you make the questions tricky. You could also try Kahoot ( It again is free and you can make quizzes that people can play together using their mobile phones. You had a taste of this with Megan Hurst in her guest lecture last term. Alternatively you could make a flashcard quiz using Quizlet ( You could construct your own multiple choice questions using Synap:
  7. Online mind maps– Mindmeister ( and ( are both free apps that will allow you to make snazzy looking mind maps- how about selecting some of the essential reading and making a mind map to summarise the key points? You could do the same for the lecture or for the seminar reading.
  8. Infographics– If you are feeling adventurous, how about making an infographic? The app ( is a free app that will allow you to quickly and easily create your own infographic. Why not summarise the main points of the paper or make an infographic to show how the story of the lecture unfolded? You could also use Piktochart ( which has lots of templates and easy drag and drop, point and click features.
  9. Make a magazine– using the app Flipboard (, why not create a magazine to post on the padlet wall? You can select relevant news stories and just click on the + button to add to your magazine.
  10. Find a photo that relates to the current topic and either explain why you chose it or ask people to comment on how it might relate to the topic- get people thinking. You could create a digital story using photos or try out some photojournalism! You can use Flickr ( or Photos for Class ( or Pexel ( or Instagram ( to source your photo or perhaps you have one of your own.
  11. Make a tagboard using an app of the same name ( This allows you to search a hashtag and create a board of the results from across different social media. You can then embed your board into the padlet wall.
  12. Make a Thinglink: For the ambitious, why not try making a Thinglink? This is an interactive visual resource which allows you to add links, YouTube clips, pictures, videos, and embed them into one image. Give it a try:
  13. Make an online story: Use to make an online story relating to the week’s topic.

This list will continue to grow- if you know of a useful app, let me know and I will add it to the list.

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